The importance of hand gestures in the communication

In a recent paper researchers evaluated the effects of hand gestures on the effectiveness of communication. And apparently, people remember better if gestures are used when the speaker is talking. Molly Hanson summarised the findings in an article on

Allan Pease speech at TedX was also mentioned in the above article. He was talking about the position of palms when talking:

  • palms up - people will receive you positively;
  • palms down - power position, not the best choice in a neutral environment;
  • finger pointing would be something you’d like to avoid;
  • palms facing each other and only fingers of both hands touching - position of confidence.

It is quite a powerful message in the context of public speaking. If hand gestures allow people to retain more information from the speech, and proper palm position is used, then you should create better outcomes.

One crucial issue remains how these same techniques affect the person on the other hand of the computer screen? Does it mean we ought to show our torso in the video call as well (for the viewer to see our hands better)?

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